FWC provides tips on co-existing with gators

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 4:31 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - After a video of a woman and her dog being pursued by an alligator in the Heron Creek community went viral, several viewers mentioned an increase in sightings of the creatures around the Suncoast. As alligator courting and mating season is upon us, Florida Fish and Wildlife are urging residents to treat the creatures with respect and caution.

Warmer temperatures mean that alligators are more active and visible. FWC has a list of suggestions for dealing with Florida gators as they may randomly and more frequently appear.

It should be noted that injuries caused by gators to individuals are very rare. Here is a list from the FWC offering tips on their website about how to safely co-exist with them:

  • Keep a safe distance if you see an alligator and never feed one. When fed, alligators can lose their natural wariness and instead learn to associate people with the availability of food.
  • Swim only in designated swimming areas during daylight hours. Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn.
  • Keep pets on a leash and away from the water’s edge and never let them swim in fresh or brackish water. Pets often resemble alligators’ natural prey.
  • Call the FWC’s Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286) if you believe an alligator poses a threat to people, pets or property and the FWC will dispatch a contracted nuisance alligator trapper to resolve the situation. The FWC places the highest priority on public safety and administers a Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) to proactively address alligator threats in developed areas, while conserving alligators in areas where they naturally occur.

Find more resources about living with alligators and Spanish translation information tools at MyFWC.com/Alligator.